Frequently Asked Questions

“We are so much better because of Swing Central.”
Kevin Haskins, Camden NJ

Q: How much does it cost to apply?
A: It’s completely free!

Q: How do I apply?
A: First, fill out an interest form and email it to or fax to 912.236.1989. September 11th you will be able to access the 2018 competition chart, Alphonso Horne’s new arrangement of Cole Porter’s tune “Night and Day” online. Submit a recording of this piece, and one other piece of your choice, by November 10, 2017.

Q. How do I submit the recordings?
A. We accept mp3s or CDs. Visit recording guidelines for more information.

Q: How do you decide on the twelve finalists?
A: An independent panel of SCJ clinicians and college-level educators undergo a blind review process. They will not know which band is playing which piece, or even the names of the bands that have applied.

Q: When will I find out if my band is a finalist?
A: We will notify selected bands by email and post them on on December 1st.

Q: If my band is selected, what happens between December and the competition in April?
A: Finalists will each receive two additional competition charts courtesy of Savannah Music Festival. Please note that Swing Central Jazz no longer provides on-site coaching before the Savannah workshops and competition.

Q: What do the winners of the competition receive?
A: First prize: The Jean Elizabeth Faircloth Award and $5,000;  Second prize: $2500;  Third prize: $1000.  All participants receive a $500 travel stipend.

More questions? Contact the SMF Education department at